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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Frick Environmental Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

May 15th, 2018 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

The Frick Environmental Center, the first municipally-owned, Living Building Challenge-targeted project in existence, will be a world-class center for experiential environmental education. As a joint venture between the City of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, the new Environmental Center will serve as a gateway to Frick Park—the city’s largest public park at 644-acres—and embody the “neighborhood to nature” ideal that served as inspiration for its formation more than 80-years ago.

Image Courtesy © Alexander Denmarsh

  • Architects: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (Patricia Culley, AIA)
  • Project: Frick Environmental Center
  • Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Photography: Alexander Denmarsh, Nic Lehoux, Ed Massery, Renee Rosensteel, Elliott Cramer for Denmarsh Phot
  • Client: City of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy
  • Principal in Charge: Roxanne Sherbeck, FAIA
  • Project Manager: Robert Aumer, AIA
  • Project Team Members: Jason Brody, AIA; Matthew Conti; Natalie Gentile, AIA; Jon Jackson, FAIA; Matthew Plecity, ASLA; Michael Maiese, AIA; Michele Mercer, RA; Gina Rossi; Roxanne Sherbeck, FAIA; Kent Suhrbier, AIA
  • Construction Manager: PJ Dick
  • Landscape Architecture: La Quatra Bonci Associates

Image Courtesy © Ed Massery

  • Structural Engineer: Barber & Hoffman
  • Civil Engineer: H.F. Lenz Company
  • MEP+FP Engineer: RAM-TECH Engineers
  • Sustainability Consultant: Atelier Ten
  • Stormwater Management Consultant: Nitsch Engineering
  • Cost: $13.75 million

Image Courtesy © Ed Massery

Image Courtesy © Ed Massery

The Frick Environmental Center encompasses nearly four-acres of development, including restored historic gatehouses and fountain; visitor parking; a service barn; extensive landscaping and ecological restoration; and the new Environmental Center. The entrance to the site, marked by a pair of stone gatehouses, leads to a formal allée of native trees and plantings. The new building, nestled into a sloping hillside, is approached via a walkway and bridge, which allows visitors to engage with the park beyond from the elevation of the tree canopy. The building’s exterior, clad in locally and sustainably harvested black locust, blends with the surrounding woods, evoking a tree house quality. Inside, full-height wood windows emanate warmth and allow for expansive views of the park. The 15,600-square-foot facility features a public living room and gallery; classrooms for K-12 environmental education programs operated by the Parks Conservancy; and offices, storage, and support space for Parks Conservancy staff.

Image Courtesy © Elliott Cramer for Denmarsh Phot

Image Courtesy © Nic Lehoux

To meet Living Building and LEED Platinum challenges, this project will achieve on-site net zero energy and net zero water through many components, including a 650-kilowatt photovoltaic array; geothermal heating and cooling system; locally sourced non-toxic building materials; continuous daylight dimming controls and occupancy sensors; and a reclaimed water system. Inspired by the clients’ mission to educate and engage, the project incorporates these and other features as interactive elements in the building and site design, providing children and families from the Pittsburgh region with hands-on environmental education, and fulfilling the Environmental Center’s role as a “living laboratory.”

Image Courtesy © Ed Massery

Image Courtesy © Alexander Denmarsh

Image Courtesy © Renee Rosensteel

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Category: Park

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